Iran develops first integrated health data visualization system

Tehran Times  – The first Iranian healthcare data visualization system, called VIZIT, was officially launched on Monday.

According to VIZIT website, the digital system provides visualized data about diseases in different parts of the country based on a variety of factors including age, sex and the region.
Data visualization is the graphical representation of information and data. By using visual elements like charts, graphs, and maps, data visualization tools provide an accessible way to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in data.

VIZIT reports the mortality rate and 165 most common causes of death in 31 provinces of the country from 1990 to 2015 in both sexes and 19 age groups.
It also categorizes 102 different risk factors of non-communicable disease (NCDs) in 2016 in 30 provinces based on different age groups, sex and the region.

The system also shows the prevalence of 70 types of cancers and their main risk factors from 1990 to 2016 in 31 provinces in 19 different age groups and both sexes.
Non-Communicable Diseases Research Center, the Health Ministry, Non-Communicable Diseases Research Center, and Metabolism Research Institute of Tehran University of Medical Sciences were among supporters of the VIZIT.

VIZIT reports the mortality rate and 165 most common causes of death in 31 provinces of the country from 1990 to 2015 in both sexes and 19 age groups.

According to Deputy Health Minister Baqer Larijani, the health data of 400 Iranian cities has been used in designing the new system, IRIB reported.

The data will be available to all experts and professionals and will help them run their future projects, Larijani added.
“With using this data, we hope that we can achieve our main goals in the ministry of health, including controlling the non-communicable diseases,” he said.

“The VIZIT will also be used for teaching 500 individuals to come up with plans for fighting non-communicable diseases.”
“The system contains around 600 million reports about a variety of diseases and the data is available for all people.”

“The system will help policy makers to assign proper resources to each health issue.”

According to VIZIT website, the clarity of the data provided, easy and quick access and the concentration of all the information in one system are among the main advantages of the VIZIT.
In the near future, a new feature will be added to the VIZIT that will predict the future trends in different health issues, including the prevalence of diseases and the quality and quantity of services offered.
The system also saves using millions of papers that are used for publishing reports.

How data visualization revolutionized the healthcare
According to American Health Information Management Association, the scale of healthcare data has grown tremendously in recent years, increasing the need to present that data in ways that are more understandable and insightful. Data visualization is an essential tool for doing this.
Data visualization places data in a visual context to help people better understand the data’s significance.
The process of visualization synthesizes large volumes of data to get at the essence of that data and convey key insights.

Why is data visualization important?
Visuals or pictures convey meaning more easily than thousands or even millions of data points; storytelling focuses the message. Some examples of data visualization are here and here and here. Visualization also allows analysts and end users to recognize patterns and relationships in large volumes of data that may not be easily seen in the raw data or reports. This may help identify emerging trends, for example, to allow an organization to address quality or safety issues before they become bigger problems. The goal is to provide actionable insights that help drive change.
As access to data grows, data analysts and other users of healthcare data will require new skills and approaches for working with that data. A recent Forbes article found that the need for data storytellers will increase as analytic self-service capabilities grow and more people generate insights.